Keep a Baby Busy on a Rainy Day with Household Items
Edited by Yuliya, Grimm, VC
Rainy day activities for babies
Nice days are perfect for taking your baby out for nice walks outside, making a trip to the park, or just spending some time in the backyard. But cold, rainy days can drag on as you and your child develop cabin fever and crave some fresh air. You called all your parent friends and no one's free for a play date. Now what do you do?
Don't reach for that TV remote! Rainy days are a great excuse to spend some time together, having fun and learning. Even very young babies can be entertained by things you probably have lying around your house.
Get ready for a fun rainy day inside with your baby with these age-appropriate activities!
Fun activities for kids under 1 year old
Your very young child may not be able to do much on his own yet, but he already knows how to have fun. Babies under one year old are developing their senses and will be amazed (and amused) by simple things: bright colors, interesting textures, fun sounds. Young babies also have short attention spans, so don't expect their interest to be kept for longer than 15 minutes at a time.
10 fun things to do with a baby under one year old:
- 1Sing songs. Your baby loves to hear the sound of your voice. Sing to her! Older babies will appreciate songs with gestures and hand-movements to go along with the music, like "Where is Thumbkin" and "If You're Happy and You Know It."Advertisement
- 2Tummy Time. Spending time on their stomach is essential for babies to learn motor skills and build neck strength. Make tummy time fun by placing toys near your baby. You can also play games with your child on their tummy, like leafing through a book together or "flying" on mommy or daddy's legs.Advertisement
- 3Obstacle courses. If your baby is older and already crawling, you can set up a (safe) obstacle course for her to climb on. Pile pillows and blankets around the crawl space and watch your little mountain-climber take off! Make sure you stay by her side at all times to keep her from climbing right off the edge of a pillow-cliff.
- 4The texture box. Get a shoe box and fill it with things that have varying textures: a scarf, (large) bottle caps, a crinkly wrapper. Either leave the box open, or close it and cut a hole in the top big enough to pull things through. Place it in front of your child and watch the glee of taking things out of boxes. If your child is old enough, encourage him to interact with the different items, or show him how to put things back into the box.
- 5Food finger painting. Babies love putting things in their mouth, but sometimes everything ends up smeared all over the table instead. Why not make that into a game? If your baby is old enough for foods other than formula or breast milk, sit him in a high chair with a big bib on, and put some yogurt on the high chair tray. Show him how to use his fingers to move the yogurt around. You can even add different food coloring to globs of yogurt and watch as your child "finger-paints." And it's okay if he eats the "paints!"
- 6Face time. Use the downtime as a chance to catch up with friends and relatives. Use a video chat program like Face Time or Skype, and give your child a chance to say hello to grandma and grandpa.
- 7Containers. Gather tupperware, plastic bottles, and any other safe containers that have lids. Place them in front of your baby and show him how to open and close the different kinds of containers. Once your baby gets bored with the activity, you can add some objects for him to place inside the different containers.
- 8Treasure hunt. Hide some interesting toys or treats around the house where your child can get to. Place some pillows on the floor and hide interesting treasures under them. Let your child explore and discover for a great time!
- 9Toy basketball. Get a laundry basket or another large plastic bin. Gather some soft toys, socks, or crinkled up paper. Show your child how to throw the items to try to get them into the basket or bin. Getting the items back out is also a fun way to develop motor skills.
- 10Play the drums. Pots, pans, and other (unbreakable) containers paired with wooden or metal spoons make great impromptu drum kits!
10 fun things to do with a baby 1-2 years old
- 1Boxes. You can give a child the most interesting, colorful, interactive toy, and he'll spend more time playing with the box. I get a lot of huge boxes because I order all my diapers online, and my 1.5 year old's favorite thing to do is climb into the box with some crayons and draw all around herself. Boxes can be anything you want: a puppet theater, a spaceship, or a giant drawing pad. They can even be used for sorting, stacking, or as extra-large building blocks.
- 2Splashing around. This is a fun but messy activity perfect for rainy summer days. Make an indoor beach! If you still have a baby tub, fill it with a small amount of water (just a few inches or cleanup won't be fun..), strip your baby down to the diaper, and have a blast! I recommend placing something underneath the tub, like rubber or plastic. Be warned: water will get all around the tub. (Also make sure your kid doesn't know how to unplug the tub like mine does!) Please note: Always watch your child carefully around water, even a few inches of it.
- 3Pouring fun. Don't put that water tub away just yet - there are plenty of fun things you can do with water (and most babies love playing with water). Bring out a few containers, especially see-through ones. Show your baby how to scoop water up with one container, and transfer it to another. This activity teaches your child the concept of empty and full, as well as motor skills and water properties. And - yes - it's very messy (most baby activities are, it's all part of learning!)
- 4Bubbles. Bubbles are fun at all ages (admit you, you love them too!) If you don't have a store-bought bubble maker, you can make your own with some dish soap and water. You can even experiment with different materials and objects to make bubbles with. Your child will love running around chasing the bubbles. If he's old enough and understands how to blow air out through his mouth, you can even let him try to make his own - but watch out, chances are he'll just want to put the bubble maker in his mouth so keep an eye on him at all times.
- 5Sorting things. Give your baby a group of things that have similarities and differences (i.e. shape, color). Help her sort them by different properties. This is a great activity even if your child doesn't get the concept of sorting yet - when I suddenly started seeing all the large green lego blocks stacked in one corner away from the rest, I realized that my daughter "got it" (and apparently loves the color green).
- 6Build a fort. Everyone loves forts... except my little one. My kid just does not like being under things (not even covers). But most other kids love the idea of building a secret hideaway out of bedsheets, pillows, and empty boxes. Have your child help make the fort, then grab a flashlight and read some children's books under the comfort of your fort.
- 7The joys of socks. This is one that my daughter discovered on her own one day: socks are fun to play with. Pour the socks out of your sock drawer onto a place space on the floor or bed. Show your child how to unfold the socks. Putting socks on your feet isn't that easy, but putting them on your hands? Why not! You can practice throwing and catching skills with folded and unfolded socks. Who knew your sock drawer could hold so much joy?
- 8Bake something together. Rainy day muffins are amazing. Let your child help you bake by giving him small tasks like pouring the flour. It will take longer, and be messier, but the end result will taste even better for everyone involved to know that your baby helped you make it.
- 9Dance party. Turn on the music and let loose! Our household always has the radio on (it's how we discovered that our child is a Katy Perry fan.. who knows).
- 10Play dress-up. You may have seen your kid trying to put on clothes already. Encourage this by giving her an interesting selection of clothes. Costumes or even just your own oversized clothes are fun to try on and parade around in!
- Patrick Jayne and Thomas - Baby playing
- Mark Larson - Lots of tupperware 
- Mattbuck - Rain on the window of East Midlands Trains 158847 in Grantham 
- David Goehring - So much fun 
- Baby Center - Let's Play! 
- Babble - 12 things to do with a baby on a rainy day 
- Netmums - 20 activities for a rainy day 
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Categories : Baby & Toddler
Recent edits by: Grimm, Yuliya